Unknown Pleasures

Unknown Pleasures

Director: Jia Zhang Ke

Cast: Jia Zhang Ke, Zhao Tao, Zhao Wei Wei, Wu Qiong

     
 

Jia Zhang Ke's 2002 downbeat drama Unknown Pleasures comes to DVD from New Yorker Home Video with a widescreen transfer and Dolby Digital Stereo sound in Mandarin. Optional English subtitles are available. The disc includes a variety of interesting features, including behind-the-scenes featurettes, photo galleries, and the original theatrical trailer. AlsoSee more details below

Overview

Jia Zhang Ke's 2002 downbeat drama Unknown Pleasures comes to DVD from New Yorker Home Video with a widescreen transfer and Dolby Digital Stereo sound in Mandarin. Optional English subtitles are available. The disc includes a variety of interesting features, including behind-the-scenes featurettes, photo galleries, and the original theatrical trailer. Also included are a video randomizer function and multiple-angle options.Unknown Pleasures takes place in China, in the small city of Datong, in 2001, where disaffected teenagers look for any kind of excitement to enliven their dreary existence. Bin Bin (Zhao Wei Wei) dates a quiet student, Yuan Yuan (Zhou Qing Feng) who's thinking of going to university in Beijing. They spend their time together holding hands, watching karaoke and Monkey King videos, and despairing for the future. Bin Bin envies the Monkey King his freedom. Bin Bin has quit his job at a local market, but he doesn't tell his mother (Bai Ru). When she finds out, she wants him to join the army. His less circumspect friend, Xiao Ji (Wu Qiong), stalks a flashy performer, Qiao Qiao (Zhao Tao), who promotes Mongolian King liquor and dates a gangster. The gangster doesn't appreciate Xiao Ji's attentions and slaps him around. Qiao Qiao seems to like him, but as free-spirited as she seems, she's afraid to defy her violent boyfriend. Bin Bin tries selling bootleg DVDs on the street to earn a living. One of his customers, a thug named Xiao Wu (Wang Hong Wei) complains that Bin Bin doesn't carry underground titles like Pickpocket and Platform (writer-director Jia Zhang Ke's previous features), but is pleased to find Pulp Fiction. Inspired by the latter film's opening, Bin Bin and Xiao Ji plot an ill-fated bank robbery. Unknown Pleasures showed in competition at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival and was also selected for the 2002 New York Film Festival.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Ambitious writer-director Jia Zhang Ke again captures the complex weave of life in contemporary China in Unknown Pleasures. Doomed to a life of sibling-less solitude and taunted by the burgeoning capitalism that has reached their town only in its crudest form, the disaffected youth of dreary Datong lead an existence wrought with ennui in a turbulent time. World events -- the bombing of a factory, China's entry into the WTO, and the selection of Beijing to host the Olympics -- flash by as background noise while these young people look for excitement wherever they can find it. Violent interactions and romantic longing all seem forced or staged as a way to stem off emptiness, a point Jia brings home in the film's bank robbery climax. Jia references Jean-Luc Godard and Quentin Tarantino, thus placing his film in a cinematic context as well as a historical one. There are many dryly funny moments in the film, including the scene wherein a minor character played by Hong Wei Wang, who also starred in Jia's earlier films, Xiao Wu (Pickpocket) and Zhantai (Platform), chides a bootleg DVD dealer who doesn't stock those films. Languorously paced, and marked by long takes from a respectful distance, the film explicates the detachment of these aimless characters from the world around them.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/16/2004
UPC:
0717119877446
Original Release:
2002
Rating:
NR
Source:
New Yorker Video

Special Features

Featurettes; Photo gallery; Original Theatrical Trailer

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Zhao Tao Qiao Qiao
Zhao Wei Wei Bin Bin
Wu Qiong Xiao Ji
Zhou Qing Feng Yuan Yuan
Wang Hong Wei Xiao Wu
Bai Ru Bin Bin's Mother
Liu Xi An Xiao ji's Father

Technical Credits
Jia Zhang Ke Director,Screenwriter
Liang Jing Dong Art Director
Shozo Ichiyama Producer
Chow Keung Editor
Li Kit Ming Producer
Masayuki Mori Executive Producer
Hengameh Panahi Executive Producer
Yuji Sadai Co-producer
Yu Lik Wai Cinematographer
Zhang Yang Sound/Sound Designer
Paul Yi Executive Producer
Wang Yu Asst. Director

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